Seven and a Half Minutes. The Polo Diaries Book 3
Before Roxy found herself “Single in Buenos Aires,” she was a single girl in London in search of true love. The third installment of The Polo Diaries series takes us back to that time, and we follow Roxy as she hires a love coach to help her navigate the dating scene. But the love coach comes up with an unexpected assignment: reconnect to a long-forgotten passion. For Roxy this means horses. Within weeks, she finds herself playing polo, thanks to a series of unforeseen events.
Torn between her desire to become the best polo player she can be and the dream of falling in love, Roxy steps fully into the exciting and demanding world of polo, where injury and recovery mix with hard training, and where celebrating the victory of a tournament comes at a high price. Will Roxy eventually become the polo player she dreams to be? And with polo being such a demanding sport, can there be any space left for love?
Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.
As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate Word is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.
Roxana lives with her husband between England and Spain, and splits her time between writing, coaching and therapy work, but her first passion remains writing.
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The Argentine Friend
The Argentine friend is a different creature than a friend in any other country. I learned that pretty quick in Argentina.
It starts with the customary kiss on the cheek when someone introduces you to their friends. Once the kiss is performed, the deal is sealed – you’re now friends.
The Argentines don’t think twice to make friends with someone new. Any friend of a friend is automatically considered a friend. Not that this introduction is needed. An Argentine has a rare ability to make friends with someone spontaneously, at various social events or simply while walking on the street. Here’s a little disclaimer: in case the Argentine in question is male and the potential friend is female, there’s a considerable speed up of the process. An Argentine male is able to instantly find conversation topics to approach a potential female friend in a variety of circumstances: while walking the dog on the street, training at the gym, or simply offering to buy her a drink at a social event. An Argentine male is extremely inventive in approaching a potential female friend and he will always do so in a casual and laid-back manner, under the pretext of ‘making friends’.
But even in the absence such courting motives, the Argentines are still the easiest nation to make friends with in the world.
Once the new friendship is sealed with a kiss on the cheek you are now gradually introduced into your new friend’s life.
“I’m meeting some other friends tomorrow, do you want to come along?”
“We’re going out to a disco on Friday do you want to come along?”
For someone who comes from another culture, this rapid advancement of friendship could be hard to digest. But that’s not all. Just as you manage to get your bearings in this new friendship, you find out that it’s only the beginning.
I’ve been invited to family holiday homes of people I met only twice, to dinners and parties with friends of friends, to new year celebrations at the house of a friend of a friend who didn’t even know me and I have been invited to stay with friends of friends who haven’t even met me.
If you end up staying at the house of an Argentine friend, you’re in for special treatment. You’re set up in the best room in the house, people cook for you, serve you food, they don’t let you pay for anything and they drop all their business in an attempt to accommodate your schedule.
The next step is that the family of your friend becomes your adoptive family. Their parents will look after you as if you’re their own child, their uncles and aunts will enquire after you. Their children will treat you as a member of the family. And even their dogs will recognise you and greet you friendly.
And eventually you come to realise one thing. You came to this country a stranger. But when you leave, you leave behind a family.
If you want to know more about Argentina, it’s customs and extraordinary approach to friendship, read The Polo Diaries series!